This past week has been wonderful! I have been working on building and painting tiny homes for houseless folks to live in.
Over a dozen sleeping pods (shelters no more than 8′ x 12′) are being built through early December to prototype light, cheap, and quick to build shelter to support houseless communities.
The designs are inspired from an earlier community forum lead by houseless community leaders and villages with support from advocacy organizations, all within the network of the Village Coalition. The sleeping pods being built have been designed by architects, designers, and activists from around Portland and facilitated by the Partners On Dwelling (POD) initiative. I am working on the two tiny homes being built with City Repair and Communitecture which are both being build out of reclaimed materials, mostly old doors from the re-building center. These two sleeping pods show how we can house people for almost no money using our large waste stream for materials.
The build will finish early December for a display on the 9th,10th, and 11th, and afterward the sleeping pods will go to folks in need.
On this day last Thursday my mama and I met at the standing rock solidarity rally at Pioneer square. I love this place and feel inspired in knowing it used to be a parking lot until 1984 when it was transformed into the first public gathering place in downtown Portland. The creation of Pioneer square is revolutionary and we need more radical, beautiful places where we can come together and plan actions for the unfolding revolution.
Here is a poem I wrote thinking about all of this…
Settler traditions and pies.
Remember, Remember Native peoples cries.
The cries that are still sounding today.
As militarized police use rubber bullets, water cannons and pepper spray.
On peaceful, unarmed water protectors.
Standing their ground to petroleum prospectors.
Defending the sacred for future generations.
United in prayer with hundreds of sovereign nations.
There people have been on this land for thousands of years.
Their history purposely forgotten due to government fears.
Of people remembering that this Earth is our home.
No matter how far we or our ancestors roam.
We all depend on clean water, air and soil.
We all know that the destroyer of these is oil.
So what is it going to take for us to stop feeding this bloated black snake?
How much longer until all of us are awake?
We are brainwashed to celebrate and believe in a false foundation
That this day is about family and a country built on good relation
Our country was built on slavery and genocide.
Our country was built on lies and maintaining a constant divide.
Separating, brutalizing and specializing our very mentalities.
Divide and conquer so we don’t see our human commonalities.
In reality this day is one of mourning
A day to buy nothing and send out a warning
To stop fattening the pockets of the corporate elite.
To focus on making sure everyone has enough to eat.
No thanks to the media blackout.
No thanks to the brainwashing in schools.
No thanks to the capitalist system.
No thanks to these unjust rules.
No giving into colonial isolation.
No giving into the corporate consumer fixation.
Building new pipeline infrastructure is the root of our collective devastation.
How do we stop this and end all land privatization?
How do we shift from a place of just trying to survive?
To recognizing beauty and gratitude for all that is alive?
The revolution is unfolding in front of our eyes.
Do we stop and listen to the stories of those who are wise?
Or do we keep chasing the illusive corporate prize?
Do we learn the history and become powerful allies?
Or do we run blind and meet our inevitable demise?
It is up to all of us to remember.
What is really being celebrated in late November.
Remember, Remember these government lies.
Remember, Remember its our time to RISE.
Here is a picture of me at my preschool, Helen Gordon dt Portland. I think all of us are naturally born leaders and the system tries to beat our confidence out of us. Lets show them.